Microsoft is currently working on a second generation of its Surface Hub, the company's giant 55 and 84-inch 4K displays. "Surface Hub created an entirely new category of device and we are delighted with the strong momentum we have seen around the world," a Microsoft spokesman said in a statement to The Verge. "We are working on V2 and we will share more in the first half of this year."
The software giant plans to reveal the Surface Hub 2 in the first half of 2018, but it is not clear when the devices will be available for companies to buy. Microsoft is also working on a new operating system update for existing Surface Hub devices, and the company hopes to bring many of the features of the Surface Hub 2 software to current models. The integration of Microsoft Teams will also be available on Surface Hub in the coming months.
So, why is Microsoft announcing a Surface Hub 2 today? "I think that for companies they might want to prepare budget allocations," says Carolina Milanesi, technology analyst at Creative Strategies. "There has also been a great focus from other suppliers on digital dashboards, which gives companies an alternative."
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Google launched its own $ 5,000 digital whiteboard last year, priced at $ 4,000 below Microsoft's 55-inch Surface Hub. Microsoft's 84-inch model has a current price of $ 21,999. While these are expensive options, Microsoft has sold Surface Hubs to more than 5,000 companies in 25 countries with more than half of Fortunte 100 companies owning a device. That makes Surface Hub more popular than any other Surface device for Microsoft business customers.
Microsoft anticipates that Surface Hub demand will outstrip supply over the course of the year, and it appears that the company is struggling to manufacture these giant screens fast enough. Microsoft closed its manufacturing facility in the US UU For the company's Surface Hub last year, presumably to reduce costs and accelerate production elsewhere. Microsoft originally announced its Surface Hub in a special Windows 10 event in January 2015. The 4K screens were supposed to ship that year, but they did not end up in business until March 2016.
Expect to hear more about Surface Hub 2 in the coming months. Microsoft is unlikely to have a dedicated event for the device, but it could appear in a possible surface spring event if Microsoft is ready to reveal other Surface hardware. However, we do not expect Microsoft to reveal its Surface Hub 2 at the company's Build developer conference.